Essay on ''the Box''

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Different government agencies in the United States helped to standardized and increased the use of shipping containers throughout the world. For example, Marad as well as the Federal Maritime Board, possessed vast authority in the maritime industry. In his book, Marc Levinson argues that these agencies, "dispensed subsidies to build ships, administered laws dictating that government freight should travel in U.S.-flag vessels, gave operating subsidies to U.S. ships on international routes, and enforce the Jones act"(128). In the beginning of the 1960s, these governmental associations helped to enhance the use of containers around the world. When the shipping container was first introduced, there was no standard size established in the industry. The use of different sizes and shapes of shipping containers made it very difficult to increase its use since it was not every company who could cope with the different sizes and shapes. By establishing international standards, these agencies reduced the confusion surrounding the reception and expedition of containers, making everyone able to adapt their operations to welcome the containers of the different shipping companies. The role played by the American government in defining the regulations regarding the container definitely played a major role in the spread of its use around the world. Marad also played a significant role in "various other complicated issues, such as the strength of corner posts, the design of doors, and the standardization of corner fittings for lifting by cranes" (131). This really helped the companies to focus their effort on other important problems, allowing the container shipping industry to take off for real in the beginning of the 1970s. In addition, the government played a major role in financing companies in the coastal shipping industry. They were giving many subsidies to companies to build new vessels that could easily transport containers on board. Without these financial support, it...
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